The International Law of Human Trafficking presented by UN.GIFT
Anne Gallagher, a leading expert on the international legal and policy aspects of human trafficking and related exploitation, was in Vienna to present her book International Law of Human Trafficking.
Narue Shiki, programme officer of UN.GIFT introduced the author as a scholar and practitioner with a long career in the fight against human trafficking. Anne Gallagher has served as Adviser on Human Trafficking to the High Commmissioner for Human Rights and also worked in academic institutions around the world, including the NATO Staff Colleague and the European Institute for Human Rights.
Author of many UN publications and reports, Gallagher in her latest book addresses the complexities of human trafficking within international law. This book published by the Cambridge University Press has been regarded by specialists as a unique and valuable resource for policymakers, advocates, practitioners, and scholars working in this new, controversial, and important field.
In her presentation, notwithstanding what still needs to be done, Ms. Gallagher was positive about the current legal response to the crime of Human Trafficking. In her book, The International Law of Human Trafficking, she acknowledged that "States traditionally distrustful of the international legal and political process have had no trouble in joining - or in some cases even leading - this unprecedent international movement."
Anne Gallagher shared with the audience anecdotes about her long career in the fields of human trafficking and human rights. She also recognized the work that UN.GIFT and its Steering Committee members are leading in fostering partnerships to create joint responses to fight human trafficking.
Interview with Ms. Gallagher:
We can understand Trafficking in Persons from two different perspectives: A Human Rights approach on one hand and a Security approach on the other hand; with States traditionally having a bigger interest in a security approach. But what about the constitution of the International Law of Human Trafficking, can we nevertheless imagine that it has a Human Rights focus?
For three weeks now , SoS-Sound of Silence have had the chance to interview different actors in the fight against trafficking in persons. All of them seemed quite happy with the International Law of Human Trafficking. Christina Storm, founder and director of Lawyers Without Borders has expressed that the international law of human trafficking doesn't have to be improved, what is needed now is a better implementation. In your book, you have stated that "Over the past decade, the legal and political landscape around this previously marginal issue has been radically transformed." But, have we reached the culmination of the International Law of Human Trafficking? Or should we wish to go further in some specific areas?
In your book you regretted the situation during the preparatory meetings of the Palermo protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons: "there seemed to be little understanding or acknowledgment of the role that States play in trafficking or of the moral and legal responsibilities that this involvement entails". Few pages and years later you come with a completely different example where "states traditionally distrustful of the international legal and political process have had no trouble in joining - or in some cases even leading - this unprecedent international movement." This drastic change leads to two questions: can you tell us the story between these two statements? And then, why did we have wait 2000 years to have international laws about a crime which seems almost as old as humanity?
In the book "Taking International Law out of the Closet", Monique and Pierre Weyl state that International Law IS the UN Charter. Can we thus claim, that the International Law of Human Trafficking is, somehow, already in the Charter? In other words, can the Charter be directly used to establish international laws about human trafficking?
Why is that important, according to you, to have a multi-stakeholder approach as we can observe under the umbrella of UN.GiFT in the fight against Human Trafficking?